The Best Cardio Exercise You Haven’t Tried Yet

December 12, 2015 — Leave a comment


If you are tired of the treadmill and the stair master at the gym, then you need to change things up. If you have joint issues or experience pain during some cardio exercises, then your options can be very limited. Well if you fall into either of the above-mentioned categories, then the rower is for you.

The Benefits of Rowing

Full Body Involvement

Rowing involves your entire body, not just your back. In fact, rowing is mainly a lower body exercise with the back merely finishing the motion. It is truly a full-body cardio exercise.

Low Impact

Because of the nature of running, your lower joints receive a lot of impact – Not so with the rower. Rowing is likely the lowest impact cardio machine available that also works more than just your legs. You can train for 40 minutes on a rower and your joints won’t mind at all. I have both shoulder and knee issue and neither are bothered one bit by rowing.

Strengthens Archery Muscles

Since archery requires a solid foundation (legs) and a strong, flexible back, rowing is a great compliment to any bowhunter’s workout. It will not only increase strength, but will also improve flexibility and reduce injury after regular training.

Weight Loss

Since you can train harder and longer on a rower without your body throwing in the towel, rowing can help to ignite fat loss and subsequently, non-functional weight-loss.

The Form

1. Sit with your legs bent and feet in the stirrups with the seat all the way forward. Grab the handle and lean your body forward so your shoulders come just in front of your hips. Your arms should be fully extended when you grab the handle. Keep your back flat and your core engaged.

2. Maintaining a straight back while keeping you core tight core, drive back with your legs. Once your legs are almost straight, lean your torso backward from your hips. As your torso reaches a 90-degree angle with the floor, begin to pull with your arms by bending at the elbows.

3. The driving motion finishes with your legs straight, your elbows bent, and the handle pulled to your lower chest. Your arms should be bent to the side of your chest, but not flared out too wide. Maintain a strong core and a straight back.

4. Returning to the beginning is essentially the same movement as before, just in reverse. Your arms should begin to straighten.As they extend, your torso should hinge forward at your hips. Maintaining a straight back and tight core, your knees should begin to bend once the handle passes over them until you return to the starting position.

Basic Rowing Workout

Since rowing is a low impact exercise that involves your whole body, you can handle a longer cardio session without experiencing the same joint pain you otherwise might with exercises like running. When it comes to technique, intervals are very effective with rowing, as with any other cardio exercise. Here is a sample rowing workout to try:

  • 5 Minute Warm-up
  • 15 sets – 1 Minute sprint/1 Minute active rest
  • 5 minute cool-down

This workout will yield 25 minutes of total cardio time. You can adjust intervals and duration, but the key to a quality rowing workout is proper form and pushing yourself through the intervals. You will find that rowing works your entire body in a way that no other exercise can.

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